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Suspensions next for violent hitters

Pittsburgh's James Harrison, left, and teammate Brett Keisel

Pittsburgh's James Harrison, left, and teammate Brett Keisel react after Harrison sacked Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers during the second half of Super Bowl XLV. (Feb. 6, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

The NFL's crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits and other illegals hits to the head and neck area may result in suspensions beginning next season. 

"We need to continue to discourage repeat offenders and flagrant violators, and not just hold players, but coaches and clubs for playing to the rules," said NFL vice president of operations Ray Anderson. "There will be strong support in 2011 for making sure players understand that, when warranted, suspensions will be an effective discipline for us. We don't want to go there, but if we must, we'll go there because these rules are meant to protect everyone on the field." 

Steelers lineabacker James Harrison was fined four times for more than $100,000 last year for flagrant hits to the head and neck area. He briefly threatened retirement early last season, but wound up helping the Steelers get to Super Bowl XLV. 

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